COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WSAV) — The first known case of the U.K.-based variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in South Carolina.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said Saturday that the agency had been notified Friday that a sample from an adult “an international travel history” had tested positive for the variant.
The individual is from the Pee Dee region, in the northeastern corner of the state, DHEC said, adding that no further information would be released to protect their privacy.
“The arrival of the second SARS-CoV-2 variant in our state is a yet another important reminder to all South Carolinians that the fight against this deadly virus is far from over,” said DHEC Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler.
“While more COVID-19 vaccines are on the way, supplies are still very limited,” she continued. “We must all remain dedicated to the fight by doing the right things to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”
As of Friday evening, a total of 434 cases of the variant had been reported in the U.S.
Health officials said earlier this week that the first two U.S. cases of a South African coronavirus variant had been reported in South Carolina.
Experts say both variants spread more easily and quickly than other coronavirus variants.